Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What High School Is For

The Commentator has an article about a new program coming out of YU that encourages high school students to cover large amounts of Gemara, achieving dollar prizes for high marks on tests (link).

In my mind, that is what high school students should be doing. Some in-depth study is necessary to train students to think and to give them a taste of what is to come. But the main goal should be to acquire an idea of what is in the Talmud and the breadth that serves as a basis for future in-depth learning. Young students need to know that they can conquer the entire Talmud, and that can only happen after they finish a few tractates and realize that it is a goal that they can accomplish.

Many schools have Mishnayos-by-heart contests and I always wondered why Modern Orthodox schools do not have something similar. While this program is aimed at high school rather than elementary school students, it seems to me that it is a great step forward that will encourage students to focus on what is important and will help generate additional excitement for learning Torah.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Favorites More